terça-feira, 24 de agosto de 2010
WARWICK, England, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Higher glucose levels in people with diabetes can form a sugar coating smothering the mechanisms the body used to fight infections, a British researcher says.
Dr. Daniel Mitchell of the University of Warwick's Medical School in England and colleagues found glucose in the blood is similar in structure to two sugars -- mannose and fucose -- found on bacteria and fungi that signal the body infection need to be combated.
However, high levels of glucose can interfere with the binding of mannose and fucose by the specialized immune receptors and can inhibit these infection-fighting chemical processes. This interference may lead to chronic inflammatory disease and increased cardiovascular and kidney disease risks.
The study, published in the journal Immunobiology, finds the specialized receptors that recognize bacteria and fungi associated molecules can become "blinded" by unhealthy glucose levels and suggests this may help explain why diabetic complications often include increased risk of viral infections such as influenza. UPI
HAVANA, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, in Cuba on a trade mission for his state, Tuesday urged the easing of U.S. travel and trade restrictions there.
The Democratic governor said President Obama should lift the restrictions invoked by Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, following a period of more lenient rules under Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, "sooner rather than later".
"I know they're considering it. Those are good steps," Richardson said in an interview with MSNBC.
"These are confidence-building steps that I think make sense; that it's in the interest of the United States".
"I've long advocated that we take the travel ban off of Americans. I don't think the embargo is working either".
Richardson emphasized he is in the Communist island nation pushing the sale of New Mexican produce and other items, but acknowledged the other issues were likely to come up. UPI
COQUILLE, Ore., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The boyfriend who was one of the last people to see an Oregon high school student slain 10 years ago has been charged with her killing.
Nicholas McGuffin, now 28, became a suspect almost immediately after Leah Freeman, 15, of Coquille disappeared on June 28, 2000, The Coos Bay World reports. But for years investigators did not have the evidence to charge him, Coos County District Attorney R. Paul Frasier said.
McGuffin was arrested Monday, a few hours after he was indicted on a charge of murder. Bail was set at $2 million.
Investigators said Freeman spent the afternoon of June 28, 2000, at McGuffin's house and then went to see a girlfriend, leaving at 9 p.m. UPI
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden crowed Tuesday that federal stimulus is re-energizing the U.S. economy despite Republican naysaying.
The Democratic vice president touted a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office, saying it is "further confirmation of what we've been hearing from leading economists, the nation's governors and families across the country: The recovery act is working to rescue the economy from eight years of failed economic policy and rebuild it even stronger than before.
"When the CBO, Congress's top watchdog and an institution widely respected on both sides of the aisle, says that because of the Recovery Act as many as 3.3 million Americans are on the job today and the unemployment rate is as much as 1.8 percent lower, it's impossible for even the most cynical, bent-on-rooting-for-failure critics to deny," Biden said. UPI
NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A manager who visited the Deepwater Horizon oil rig before the blast said Tuesday if workers were worried about pressure they should have shut it down.
"Whatever you do you don't continue forward until you understand that," said Daun Winslow, a Transocean performance division manager. Winslow was testifying before a joint investigative panel of the Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement at a hearing in Houston, The Houston Chronicle reported.
But Winslow said nothing led him to believe conditions were unsafe aboard the rig before the blast. "Otherwise I wouldn't have been down in the smoke area, having a cup of coffee" right before the first explosion, he said, the Chronicle reported. UPI
BOSTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A Nobel Prize-winning U.S. scientist says the world could soon enter an era where renewable wind and solar power will be the globe's main sources of energy.
Walter Kohn, who shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, told a meeting of the American Chemical Society that total oil and natural gas production, which today provides about 60 percent of global energy consumption, is expected to peak about 10 to 30 years from now, followed by a rapid decline, an ACS release said Tuesday.
But ongoing research and development of alternative energy could lead to a new era in human history in which two renewable sources -- solar and wind -- will become Earth's dominant contributors of energy, Kohn said.
Global photovoltaic energy production increased by a factor of about 90 and wind energy by a factor of about 10 over the last 10 years, Kohn said, and he expects vigorous growth of these two effectively inexhaustible energies to continue. UPI
CHISINAU, Moldova, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Three gang members were in custody in Moldova after allegedly trying to sell uranium they had brought into the country illegally, authorities say.
The Russian TV network RT reported Tuesday the suspects were looking for a buyer for nearly 4.4 pounds of the radioactive material. Their asking price was $11.4 million.
It wasn't known where the uranium originated, RT said.
"The group had seven members; three of them have been seized," the prosecutor in the case said. "Some of the suspects have previously been tried in Russia and Romania for similar crimes. Two members of the gang are former Moldovan policeman".
The uranium, which could have been used for military purposes, was being kept in a basement where the level of radiation was about 60 times higher than the acceptable norm, authorities said. UPI
HENDERSON, Nev., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Former LPGA Tour player Erica Blasberg died as the result of a suicide, the Clark County, Nev., Coroner's Office ruled Tuesday.
Blasberg, 25, was found dead in her home May 9. Police indicated she was found with a plastic bag fastened over her head.
The coroner determined the cause of death as suicide due to asphyxia and toxic levels of prescription medication.
The Southern California native was a two-time All-American golfer for the University of Arizona and was in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour. UPI
PUERTO ASIS, Colombia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Three Colombian teenagers who appeared on a Facebook hit list of 69 names have been killed in the past 10 days.
Police told CNN Tuesday they do not know who posted the list or why the names were chosen.
"It is still not clear. This is part of the investigation," Colombian national police spokesman Wilson Baquero told CNN.
The posting, which appeared on Facebook Aug. 17, said the people named had three days to leave the southwestern Colombian town of Puerto Asis or they would be killed, public defender Volmar Perez Ortiz said.
Two of the killings occurred Aug. 15, two days before the list was published on Facebook.
Diego Ferney Jaramillo, 16, and Eibart Alejandro Ruiz Munoz, 17, were shot and killed while riding a motorcycle. Norbey Alexander Vargas, 19, was killed Aug. 20. UPI
DETROIT, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Detroit Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon said Tuesday he has blocked a move by the Boston Red Sox to claim him off waivers.
Damon said he invoked the no-trade clause in his one-year deal with Tigers and has opted the stay with the team rather than return to his former club, whom he helped lead to a 2004 World Series championship.
"I knew this was going to be a tough decision," he told MLB.com, "but I just wanted to be 100 percent sure this is the right thing for me".
Damon had until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to make a decision and decided to stay with the Tigers after talking to his teammates, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski, Assistant GM Al Avila and Manager Jim Leyland. UPI
TUCSON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The number of deaths in Arizona's Pima County among Mexicans trying to get into the United States illegally could hit a new record this year, officials say.
So far, 170 bodies have been found in the desert, the Los Angeles Times reports. In 2007, 218 bodies were discovered, the largest number so far.
Eric Peters, the county's deputy chief medical examiner, said he expected publicity about the new Arizona immigration law to reduce the number of border crossers and thus the number of deaths. But that has not proved true, with 59 bodies found in July, including seven on July 15, when temperatures reached 108 degrees.
Arrests of border crossers, an important measure of how many people actually make the dangerous journey, have dropped by 61 percent since 2000 and are down by 5 percent this year compared to last, the Times said. Experts say the economic slump has convinced many Mexicans to stay home. UPI
LA SILLA, Chile, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- European astronomers say they've discovered a planetary system with at least five and possibly seven planets, the most yet seen outside our own solar system.
Scientists of the European Southern Observatory using a telescope at La Silla, Chile, found the planets orbiting a sun-like star 127 light years from earth, an ESO release said Tuesday.
"We have found what is most likely the system with the most planets yet discovered," Christophe Lovis, lead author of the paper reporting the result, said. "This remarkable discovery also highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet research: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets".
The astronomers measured tiny oscillating movements of the star caused by the complex gravitational attractions from five or more planets. The five strongest signals correspond to planets with masses similar to Neptune orbiting the star with periods ranging from about 6 to 600 days.
"We also have good reasons to believe that two other planets are present," says Lovis. UPI
NASHVILLE, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Young Swedish forward Patric Hornqvist signed a three-year, $9.25 million contract with the Nashville Predators Tuesday.
Hornqvist was the NHL club's leading goal-scorer last season with 30. He tied Steve Sullivan for the team lead in points with 51 in 80 games.
Hornqvist was Nashville's seventh-round pick in the 2005 draft. He has 32 goals and 58 points in 108 games since making the team in the 2008-09 season. UPI
TORONTO, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Defenseman Aaron Ward, hobbled by knee injuries, has decided to retire after 15 NHL seasons, the league's players association says.
Ward, 37, had one goal last season in 77 games split between Anaheim and Carolina.
He had three operations recently to correct a knee problem but wasn't able to recover enough to allow him to pursue a 16th season.
Ward broke into the league with Detroit. He also spent time with Boston and the New York Rangers. He was on two Stanley Cup winners in Detroit and one with Carolina. UPI
CORVALLIS, Ore., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Oregon State lineman Tyler Thomas has been dismissed from the team after police allegedly found him naked and drunk, the Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times reports.
Thomas, 19, was arrested early Sunday at the home of a 32-year-old woman who had called police, the newspaper said. Thomas apparently dropped into a three-point stance when police ordered him to the floor and then was shot with a stun gun when he allegedly charged the officers, the newspaper said.
Thomas is to appear in Benton County Circuit Court Sept. 9 to face charges of first-degree criminal trespass, second-degree criminal mischief and resisting arrest. UPI
HAMILTON, Ohio, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A convicted killer suspected of strangling a woman in Pontiac, Mich., more than 40 years ago has been ordered returned to the state to stand trial.
An Ohio judge ordered the extradition of Nelson Ray George, 67, Monday, the Detroit Free Press reported. Officials said he would be in a Michigan jail by the end of the week.
George pleaded guilty to killing two women in Michigan and Ohio and spent a total of 22 years in prison.
Since his release in 1992, he has been living in Ohio and working as a handyman.
In an affidavit filed with the Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Butler County, prosecutors said their evidence against him includes testimony from Eugene Weis, an armed robber who knew George in a Michigan prison in the 1970s. Weis claims George told him he had killed as many as six women, "maybe more".
George allegedly told him he "liked to see the shaking that occurred with their bodies" as they died. The women he admitted killing and his other alleged victims were strangled with their clothing. UPI
NEW YORK, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- New York's Random House Children's Books said Tuesday it has published its first exclusive e-book original.
"The Death of Joan of Arc: A Lost Story from the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" by Michael Scott is a short story available exclusively in digital format. It is the newest addition to Scott's series "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel," which has sold more than 1 million copies to date in North America.
"With the exception of the two teen characters, Michael Scott's series is based entirely on individuals transplanted from history, mythology, folklore and legend," Beverly Horowitz, Delacorte publisher, said in a statement. "Michael's new e-book original is certain to entertain fans and satisfy them as they wait until the publication of the next book in the six-part series, 'The Warlock'". UPI
The commander of the U.S. Marine Corps says it likely will take a few years to transfer security duty to Afghan forces in the country's key southern provinces.
General James Conway says some American forces in Afghanistan probably will turn over combat duties to Afghan forces in 2011. However, he adds, that probably will not include Marines battling insurgents in Helmand and Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.
Conway said President Barack Obama's declaration that he will begin reducing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by July 2011 has bolstered Taliban morale. But the general noted that the Taliban will be in for a surprise next summer when they realize U.S. forces are remaining in large numbers.
The last of 30,000 additional U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan by President Obama will arrive at the end of next month. That will bring the total number of U.S. forces in the country to 98,000.
NATO said Tuesday that separate attacks in southern Afghanistan killed two of its troops.
NATO also said Tuesday that Afghan and international forces have killed more than 35 Taliban fighters this week as part of efforts to provide security for parliamentary elections next month. VOA News
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- About 3,700 Zooper Tango double strollers are being recalled because they could collapse and cause an injury, a U.S. watchdog agency says.
The strollers were imported from China by Lan Enterprises LLC of Hillsboro, Ore., and sold nationwide from January 2007 through August 2008 for about $420 apiece.
The company has received numerous reports of strollers collapsing when the frame latches fail, the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement announcing the voluntary recall.
The recall involves Zooper Tango double strollers with model numbers SL808B and SL808F.
The strollers have the word "Zooper" displayed on the canopies and on the push bars. UPI
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A U.S. appeals court tossed the conviction of an Arizona man accused of plotting to kill fans at the 2008 Super Bowl and sending threatening letters.
Kurt William Havelock allegedly planned to shoot arriving spectators to express his outrage at having been denied a liquor license to open a horror-themed bar in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe -- a massacre allegedly averted only when Havelock had a last-minute change of heart after arriving at the stadium with an assault rifle and 200 rounds of ammunition, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Before going to the stadium Havelock allegedly mailed six letters containing a rambling "manifesto" justifying his planned attack, the newspaper said.
The mailed documents were the basis of a criminal indictment brought against Havelock, who was convicted by a jury and sentenced to a year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release. UPI
PHOENIX, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Grand Canyon, one of America's iconic national parks, is under threat from without and within, a report from a conservation group says.
The National Parks Conservation Association report says pollution, tourism, mining, changes in the Colorado River and chronically under-funded budgets compromise efforts to protect resources and present a threat to the park, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.
"When you look at all of the challenges, you find out that the Grand Canyon is at risk, at grave risk," David Nimkin, the group's Southwest regional director, said.
"We made a deal when we created the national parks, that we would support them, and we need to do that".
The non-profit group, founded in 1919 by the first National Park Service director, aims to protect national parks by lobbying Congress and government agencies, often to stop policies and legislation that could harm resources, the Republic said. UPI
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A British man set a world record in South Africa by spending 114 days in a small room with 40 venomous snakes, and he is planning to stay for a few more days.
David Jones of Sussex, England, has spent four months in the 16-by-13-foot enclosure at the Chameleon Village Reptile Conservation Park in Johannesburg with two black mambas, two green mambas, three snouted cobras, seven boomslangs and 27 puff adders, The Sun reported Tuesday.
Jones, who beat previous record holder Natie Swart of South Africa, said he has not yet been bitten by any of the snakes, but he had a few "close shaves". UPI